The Oregon coast has been compared to the ruggedness of England and Labrador, Canada. It combines some of the most lush rainforests, very long beaches, towering cliffs and a hospitality that is truly heartwarming. A travel itinery for a quick Oregon coast trip or lengthier state vacation should not limit itself to just the towns/cities, but expand to include the many sites that line coastal highway 101.
Dotted along the stunning coastline, sand dunes open up to the Pacific Ocean, giving so many photo opportunities enroute, that it is necessary to stop wherever there is a safe spot or grass verge because a quick walk can reveal local fishing holes, dune buggy races, kite flying, hiking, windsurfing, beachcombing, bird and whale watching and even surfing. The majority of these are of the beaten path, known only to locals and some more frequent visitors, but by taking the time to look beyond the trees and distant waves, a visit can definitely become more memorable.
When traveling through the varied towns, like Astoria, Coos Bay, Depoe Bay and Seaside, drive more slowly up and down the coastal hills. Take the time to read little signposts because most of them lead to tiny unmarked parks and famous lighthouses. These vary in size and some of them even have museums.
The other curious thing about traveling the Oregon coast highway are the many dining and accommodation opportunities that just spring up around every corner. Even the most out of the way places can serve some of the best local seafood, and the locals are some of the friendliest on the West coast. Have a chat or drink with them and you will learn little details and hot spots that never make it into the tour guides. Again, always have your camera prepared because everything is constantly changing here, even the weather.